Reward & Time Stewardship

Sometimes people say,"Oh, well you see I work better under pressure." It is possible to perform adequately under pressure, but I feel that is typically the mantra of those who are often unmotivated procrastinators. I mean, how many people can honestly say that they work better under pressure than when the times when they have time to truly think out a concept and take the adequate time to hash out what something really could be. I often think that people "work better under pressure" because it's when they actually start working, so naturally it's better than their not working state.

There are times for me when working under the gun is necessary, and sure I can typically create something that will be adequate for the need, but rarely is it my best work. There is, at least from my eyes, a noticeable difference in my ability to uphold the level of detail that I long for when I have to rush. I think that is somewhat expected, but when I am done with a project like that, I always have to make sure to review why I'm rushing.

Was I rushing because I just got all the info from the creative brief at the very last minute, was the whole project altogether just way behind schedule, or was it just me putting it off and having my priorities out of whack? If I could always choose, I would of course work on the projects I like first and keep pushing off the boring ones to the back-burner. However, working for other people's design needs I really don't have a choice of whether or not I want to work on something boring or not boring, it just all needs to be done in a timely manner. All of it.

This allows me to introduce priority, organization, and reward. Allow me to explain what each of those looks like to me:

Priority: The order of things, sorted by importance according to my best judgment (at times chosen by others for you by those with higher authority than you, which at times can be nice but is in fact rare in my cases).

Organization: The manner in which a person chooses to keep track of various priorities so that they can work effectively and efficiently to execute the priority list in a feasible time frame.

Reward: A motivator or incentive for something that in itself is not rewarding. Usually after enduring some sort of task that would not ordinarily be chosen, but has been deemed necessary. Often self-created.

There are things I do that I wouldn't necessarily choose to take on, but they are a necessary priority to someone, thus I do them. However, knowing that I'm more of a forward thinker than a maintainer, I need to organize and provide myself with some sort of incentive to get through the seemingly mundane tasks: Reward.

Sometimes I can reward myself with another task. For example, "if you wade through all these revisions of this or that, you can start to plan out this logo concept that for a new ministry." Or sometimes it'll be completely unrelated like "If I get through edited all the date changes on these loop slides I can go buy a Monster Energy drink from Sheetz." These things help me. It helps me break down big tasks that I could easily just dance around and think of doing, to actually doing them. It works for me, really well.

I hate seeing things go wasted, and time is definitely something I guard. I've been learning a ton about boundaries in life, learning when to say no, leave for the day, take a trip, or just be still and quiet. God has shown me a lot about myself and how He's wired me, and I continue to learn how I can serve Him best.

I know my time is limited and I have a lot that I'm responsible for, so wasting time on frivolous meetings, impromptu small talk conversations, and other various interruptions can cripple my productivity. I'm still learning as always, but it's getting better and better. Be better than a procrastinator, give God your best work and not just "what you are capable of coming up with in the last minute when you didn't need to be doing that. We're in this together.